3 Ways to Spring Clean your Career!

Is it time to start career planning again? 

Spring has taken its time to make an appearance this year however, having a career plan is long overdue.  The pandemic has made most of us grateful for a job.  We’ve experienced or witnessed our friends and family members lose their jobs or their businesses.  However, we are seeing positive signs that the economy is on the road to recovery.   

Career planning isn’t just restricted to people who are frustrated and looking to leave their job.  Career planning applies to those who are happy in their current organization.  Are you looking for the next challenge or promotion?  Or do you want to increase the depth and breadth of your knowledge and skills and become the “go-to expert”?

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These are the characteristics that are going to have the most significant impact on your success and satisfaction are;

  • Taking personal responsibility
  • Ability to learn new skills
  • Commitment to Continuous Personal Development CPD
  • Highly adaptable to change
  • Self-belief and confidence
  • Job roles and companies that align with your values
  • Results Driven
  • Enthusiasm and passion for your subject and sector

Most of us will be in paid employment for a number of our adult years.  If you want to remain satisfied, motivated, and productive during your career.  It’s wise to select the job that best suits your interests and is aligned with your values.

Having a career plan is not a one-off exercise.  That’s why it’s called a Continuous Development Plan” CDP.  It’s a long-term commitment to learning, developing, growing, and striving to improve your skills, knowledge, and competence.

If career advancement, promotion, and progression are important to you then there are a few strategies to consider in your current position.

#1 Keep the end goal in mind

If you don’t know where you are going…you may end up somewhere else! You may as well hand over your career to someone else to make the decisions.

  • What’s your career goal?
  • Where do you want to take your career?
  • What are your personal career objectives?

Having a career plan means you are selective and considered.  You can weigh up and assess whether opportunities and tasks are going to take you in the right direction. Having a plan means you can prioritize and manage your time appropriately.

Ensure everything you do is contributing to your career.  And everyone you network with is supporting your career advancement. This type of calculated decision-making process will go in your favour when you want to be considered for promotion. Managers will know if you are genuinely interested in working in their team.

Well-thought-out reasons and decision-making processes about your career will make you stand out from the crowd.


#2 Network Internally

Most people tend to think of networking as an external activity. However, networking internally is often overlooked and a missed opportunity.

If you know the direction of your career then you’ll know the best people to network with.  You’ll also know who to build relationships with that will influence your future career.

For example, when I worked in a Corporate Bank in the City, our ambitious employees were particularly good at networking internally.  They would be very comfortable approaching Directors and Heads of Departments to meet and discuss what they had to do to be considered in the future for that business area.

They also did something that would definitely increase their chances of success in the future, they met objectives and exceed expectations in their current role.  Each job was a stepping stone to the next job, however, employees in the bank knew how important it was to work really hard to do a good job.

By the time these employees applied for an internal vacancy (generally a promotion or career progression) they’d already built up excellent credibility and good working relationships – even before they’d attended the interview.

Who in your organization can help you in your career?

#3 Keep up to date and informed

Career-orientated individuals regularly read and research the news in their sector.  This has several benefits to your existing career and any future career. 

You’ll be up to date with your knowledge, you will be informed when you next attend an interview, and you’ll be the ‘go-to expert’ for your peers, or be able to give advice and guidance to managers.  

Here are some essential activities for career planning:

  • Keep up to date with the latest legislation, regulation changes, competition, trends, etc. 
  • Dedicate time every day to reading professional journals or relevant newspapers.
  • Sign up for news updates in your sector.
  • Attend seminars, networking events, conferences, and trade events.

If you are a regular commuter then this is an ideal time to read the latest news.  Tony Robbins calls this NET (No Extra Time) when you can combine two or more activities into one slot of time.  Therefore, if you need to spend time commuting to work, either use this time to read, research, network on social media, or listen to sector Podcasts.  It’s a good use of your time.

Positioning yourself for promotion doesn’t usually happen overnight.  Therefore, you’ll need to spend time broadening your experience, skills, and knowledge. 

That’s why it’s so important to do something you enjoy. Having a satisfying career is not just about the destination – it really is about enjoying the journey!